Dachshund separation anxiety is a common problem for Dachshund owners. Separation anxiety can range from mild, such as crying for a short while when you leave, to something much more significant for both you and your dachshund. In more severe cases, Dachshunds with separation anxiety can urinate and defecate in the house, chew furniture or carpets, and bark continuously for hours at a time.
The Sources of Dachshund Separation Anxiety
In the wild dogs live in packs. Your Dachshund is no different, being part of your family pack. They are attached to you as the alpha dog in the pack and can become upset when you leave them alone. Having said this, however, it is not being alone that is upsetting, instead it is what you do just before you leave or when you return that is often at the root of the problem. For example, do you have the same routine every day? Do you always play with your Dachshund as soon as you get home?
Reducing Dachshund Separation Anxiety
You can reduce your Dachshunds separation anxiety in many ways. Here are a few easy things that you can try:
1. Change Your Routine
See if there is something in your routine that triggers your Dachshunds anxiety (e.g. turning on the shower). Try to mix up your schedule by changing the time you get up, showering at night, or getting your things ready, but waiting a minutes before you actually leave the house. Even slight variations each day in your routine will reduce anxiety.
2. Don’t Reinforce the Behavior
First things first, don’t pay attention to your Dachshund as you are leaving or entering the house. If you do so, you are actually reinforcing their unwanted behavior. When you are leaving the house don’t stroke your dog, and when you come home, go about your business for 15 minutes or so before you pay them any attention at all.
3. Go Slowly
If your Dachshunds separation anxiety starts as soon as you leave the house, then you need to work on the problem slowly. Start by leaving the house only for a minute or so, gradually building up the time as the anxiety lessens. Also vary the length of time you are gone. Once your Dachshund realizes you will come back every time their anxiety will decrease and you will be able to increase the length of time you are away.
4. Addressing Dachshund Separation Anxiety is not cruel
Amazingly there are people who think that methods used to address dachshund separation anxiety are cruel. IThis is smply not true. We all know how anxiety affects us, your Dachshund is no different. There is no reason not to address their anxiety, help them be more comfortable and know that you as pack leader are in charge.
If your Dachshund has severe separation anxiety, you need to address it now – don’t wait. Train them to accept that you will leave but always come back and that this is normal pack behavior. In doing so you will minimize anxiety and reduce the chance of destructive behavior.
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